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Pervasive developmental disorders include autism. They are a series of disorders typically abbreviated as PDD in medical literature. PDDs are related to conditions that result in developmental delays in primary skills, such as socialization. Communication and the use of imagination can also be affected.

What Causes Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders?

While medical professionals are searching for the underlying causes of PDDs, they are still steeped in mystery. There is speculation that they may be the cause of problems with the brain and spinal cord. Unfortunately, research is ongoing and the cause remains unknown.

The Symptoms of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders

When children have PDDs they may present a variety of unusual behaviors. Some symptoms may be disabling. Children with pervasive developmental disorders vary in their appearance. Some are visibly disabled, while others may appear more or less like all other children.

Communication disorders are common, including many associated with verbal and non-verbal communication. Social interactions suffer, and these children may not be able to sympathize with others, or consider their surroundings. They may have unusual play habits and be unable to manipulate objects in the same way as others. Children with autism may have trouble sleeping, experience frequent temper tantrums, or be overly aggressive towards others. They may rely on routines for a sense of normalcy and experience anxiety when routines change. As you can see, PDDs can manifest in many different ways.

The Types of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Childhood disintegrative disorder is a little known disorder when compared to autism and Apserger’s syndrome. The condition is rare but involves an immature development of both physical and mental abilities. They may also be incontinent.

Autism is a well known disorder involving the child’s imagination and social interactions. They also tend to have troubles communicating. They are only limited in a few things, but they attach to their interests deeply. Asperger’s syndrome causes many symptoms similar to autism. They are generally more intelligent than their peers. They do have trouble focusing and their coordination is often poor. In many cases, they are able to live a fully functional life on their own.

Rett’s Syndrome is very rare. It shares many of the symptoms of other PDDs, but includes physical developmental difficulties. It usually only afflicts females, as it is known to be linked to X chromosome defects. Depending on which PDD your child has, they may be able to function well enough to live lives that are more or less normal. They may need your assistance with some things, but be able to handle others entirely on their own. If you suspect that your child autism or a PDD you should visit a medical professional as soon as possible.

You may need a referral depending on how your insurance policy works. If you aren’t sure who to turn to, visiting a family doctor is usually the right first step. He or she will be able to provide you with a referral to a qualified mental professional.


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